Scarlet Honeyeater (?) at ANBG

To: "Canberrabirds" <>
Subject: Scarlet Honeyeater (?) at ANBG
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 23:45:47 +1000
While meandering in the rockery area at ANBG this afternoon, suitably strung with binoculars, I was approached by a charming, excited lady toting binoculars and clutching a Pizzey & Knight.
"Excuse me, suh, you are a birdwatcher? Right?" I answered in the affirmative.
"Look, Ah just seen a male Scarlet Honeyeater up yonder. You wanna come look? " I didn't need a second invite. 'Up yonder' was just across the road, up hill from the rockery. I neglected to note the section number, too busily engaged in conversation with this charming auburn-haired lady whose name was Jemima and hailed from Mobile, Alabama. I told her Scarlet Honeyeaters were rare in Canberra.
"Oh, absolutely! But Ah really been swatting up on Australian birds of late, preparatory to mah trip down to Oz. And, sure as God made little green apples, it wuz a male Scarlet Honeyeater, it wuz!" Anyhow, we hunted about for ten minutes, but no luck. Then Jemima needed to hurry off to the visitors centre because she wanted to catch the afternoon guided tour.
As we walked back through the rockery, we happened upon a pair of Bassian Thrush scratching about. "Bassian Thrushes! Right? Right?", Jemima shouted.
"That's them, sure as God made little green apples," I said, sporting my best southern American drawl. Miss Jemima laughed so loudly the thrush decamped. Judging by her quick identification of the BTs, I believe this sweet southern belle was no ding-dong when it came to the ID of Aussie birds.
Drat that stupid guided tour! I would have liked to 'go look' some more with Miss Alabama. Went back and searched, but no Scarlet Honeyeater. Went to the cafe for coffee, hoping Miss Mobile would be there. But no. Went back and searched again, hoping to sight the Scarlet Honeyeater or, better still, Scarlet O'Hara. But no. Drat! Drat! Drat!
Frustrated Birdwatcher of Holt.
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